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The Morning News and Powells Present
2006 Tournament of Books
MARCH 23, 2006
I got a nasty case of the stomach flu this morning, but I learned from Oprah’s Dr. Robin that illness is really a “dis-ease” with who I am. I think she might have been talking about shopaholism, but surely her wisdom pertains equally to my relentless vomiting and diarrhea. So for the sake of my battered self-esteem, I soldier on.

Watching 60 Minutes the other night I couldn’t help thinking that Bram Stroker’s Dracula is something like a sperm donor who fathered hundreds of literary children he never knew. There are lots of these sperm donor books, like The Divine Comedy, Don Quixote, and Bridget Jones’s Diary. On occasion one of the resulting children will become so successful that the sperm donor, hoping to get a percentage of the rich kid Culkin-style, will file for custody in a London court. Then the book’s parents will have to testify and the other father will say “Oh my wife buys all the sperm and she bought a lot of different sperm and although he might resemble you around pages 76 through 120 you’re probably not the real daddy, blah, blah, blah.”

Back to the tourney: Funny wins out over scary in this round, which still doesn’t explain how Tim Allen’s The Shaggy Dog will likely outgross Rob Zombie’s The Devil’s Rejects. Ha! I said outgross, which is funny because The Shaggy Dog is a Disney remake about a district attorney who thinks he’s a puppy and The Devil’s Rejects is about a sadistic killer who cuts the skin off a country music singer’s face and wears it around like a hat.